News & Events

A Bantam Re-hatched

The Douglas Bantam is a fairly rare bird, with maybe twenty known to the Club. This 1933 example had been off the road since 1965, according to the old tax disc, but was largely complete and mechanically sound. The sheet metal bodywork had suffered, however, and new leg shields and toolbox had to be manufactured. This beautifully restored example, recently completed, is a credit to the skills and patience of one of our Cornish members. You can read more about the 150cc 2-stroke Bantams on the 1930s Models page.

Douglas Bantam 1933, As Found
The Douglas Bantam, as found. Traces of the original blue paint are visible on the pressed steel forks.
Douglas Bantam 1933, Restored
The finished article, after many hours of painstaking work.

 

On The Road Again!

You can always tell when Spring’s arrived, as Winter restorations get finished off and gleaming ‘new’ machines return to the road! Despite the ‘lockdown’, this year is no different for the proud owner of this 1936 Douglas Aero 500. The ‘before’ picture shows the machine as it was acquired, after five years off the road. After much painting, plating and polishing and some mechanical attention, it looks now as it must have done 84 years earlier – and is a tribute to the owner’s hard work. I’m told it goes as well as it looks.

Hopefully, we will all be back out on the roads before too long.
If you have a completed – or even part-completed project that would interest our visitors, please get in touch via the Contact page.

1936 Douglas Aero 500
1936 Douglas Aero 500, looking tired after years in storage

1936 Douglas Aero 500 After Restoration
Today, gleaming and ready to go!

Delays to New Conrod Magazine

In view of the current coronavirus crisis, the Club has had to change its postal arrangements for the May/June issue of the magazine. Rather than this being organised by a group of dedicated members, all in one room stuffing envelopes, which would not meet the current social distancing requirements, we have had to outsource the distribution. Currently there is every intention of continuing with the publication of the Conrod, but we would ask for your understanding if there is any delay in your copy of the New Conrod reaching your door mat.

Thank you.

Down Memory Lane to Kingswood

While our UK visitors are stuck indoors and cannot enjoy Spring on two wheels … here’s the next best thing! This video is part of a series produced by Spectel Communications as part of their Bristol History Series, and covers the story of Douglas motorcycles. There is some wonderful period ‘movie film’ of the Isle of Man in the 1920s, images of the factory and even a cameo appearance by our own Bill Douglas. Many thanks to Spectel Communications for making this video available, which is free to view until the end of the UK’s ‘lockdown’ period. https://youtu.be/jgAvqH57Exk

What’s in the Box?

Working on an early ’30s Douglas gearbox, I’ve been struck by the quality. Where a typical BSA or similar machine would have had shafts supported in bronze bushes pressed into blind holes, Douglas used bronze collars cast into the alloy to support proper ball races. And, with remarkable consideration for the restorer of ninety years later, they specified metric bearing sizes – part no. 6203 if you’re curious! – which are readily available today.
Douglas had an enviable reputation for quality. This gearbox is from a ‘budget’ model, an A31, yet it cannot have been cheap to manufacture. An omen for the financial problems which were to beset the company in the years ahead, perhaps.

Annual Rally 2020 Cancelled

The Committee regrets to say that it has taken the decision to cancel this year’s Annual Rally. With the on-going coronavirus crisis, the safety of our members is uppermost in our minds. Also, the current restrictions on movement and social distancing are unlikely to be lifted before that date. Whether it will be possible to arrange an alternative event later in the year is difficult to say at this stage, but this is something the Committee will keep under review.